Red Dwarf X (UK Comedy TV series) review

Posted: November 19, 2012 by Andrew in Television
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Red Dwarf is a British sci-fi comedy TV series that first aired in the eighties on BBC2 in the UK. The show is based around four main characters: Lister supposedly the last human alive. Rimmer a Hologram. Cat a humanoid descendant of Lister’s Cat. Kryten a mechanoid. Set millions of years in the future on-board the spaceship called ‘Red Dwarf’.

Those thirty minutes nuggets of comedy gold soon achieved ‘cult’ status, and at a young age I was just allowed up long enough to watch an episode with my sister, then I had to go to bed.

Later I discovered the fantastic Red Dwarf books, which was another way to get my fix, of this witty, self-deprecating low budget comedy show. I vaguely remember a radio version of the show, I think read by Chris Barrie, one of the stars. As time went by the final series which I relished each episode was season six, and then even my enthusiasm for the show diminished.

I believe there was a failed attempt to create an American version of the show, and for a while talk of a movie, but that never came to pass. Add some more seasons, and a one-off (disappointing) special and a large dollop of time, and you would of thought its time was done, the show consigned to the comedy archives, to be fondly remembered, especially for the early years.

Then DAVE a UK television station decided to pick up the gauntlet, and for some reason not to create a season 9, but a 10, and Red Dwarf X was born. I was of mixed opinions whether to watch this show, as frankly the show’s comedy had waned over the years and the special was appalling.

I didn’t like the idea of this cult comedy show having its reputation dented further, with perhaps a lacklustre offering. In the end I relented, as I couldn’t resist, just on the off chance that it had somehow re-found its form of old. So had it?

I’m glad to say Red Dwarf X is a vast improvement over recent episodes, and is full of wit and good humour. However it is a show that heavily draws upon your feelings of old for the show, rather than feeling fresh and bringing something new. Also some of the comedy felt forced, rather than flowing.

Bizarrely thinking back upon the six episode series, the stories don’t stand out. The plots just don’t have the punch they used to. Too much happening perhaps during the episodes, with too many laughs trying to be crammed in, but wasn’t that always the case? Perhaps any new incarnation of the show, can’t stand up to my younger memories, first discovering the show?

The ‘boys from the Dwarf’ are back though, but just not with as much oomph. Undoubtedly season X was superior to the special, but not as good as the first six seasons. There were missed opportunities, with plot lines that didn’t contribute to the next episode…. but that being said, I tuned in, I watched and I laughed.

Smeg! I hope they do a season 11.

About the guest author: Andrew lives in the UK, enjoys guzzling tea of such quantity, it surely can’t be good for his health.

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